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The state’s Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the firings of two correctional academy trainers and one of the Basic Training Class #18 cadets on Friday as investigations into the photo continues.
“We are committed to a full and complete investigation that we will present to Governor Justice and to the public once it is finished,” WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy said in a statement.
“As terrible as this incident has been, it is critically important that we go by the book to arrive at the whole truth of what occurred and why,” Sandy, who called the image “distasteful, hurtful, disturbing, highly insensitive, and completely inappropriate,” continued.
According to an agency spokesperson, the photo in question was taken at Glenville State College during Basic Training Class No. 18, which was conducted Oct. 21 through Nov. 27. The image, which is on West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation letterhead, shows 34 trainees in uniform giving the Nazi salute under a sign that reads, “HAIL BYRD!”
Byrd is reportedly the name of the trainees’ instructor.
Gov. Jim Justice, who quickly condemned the photo, issued a statement calling for “the termination of all those found to be involved in this conduct.”